Root, Woakes Send Windies To Series Defeat

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West Indies produced an erratic performance all round as they slumped to yet another series loss, with a four-wicket defeat to England in the second One-Day International of the three-match series on Sunday.
Hampered by a plethora of soft dismissals, the hosts could only muster 225 all out off 47.5 overs, after opting to bat first at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Jason Mohammed carved out his second half-century in as many games with exactly 50, while Kraigg Brathwaite got a pedantic 42 and left-hander Jonathan Carter, a breezy 39.
In reply, England twice recovered from dangerous positions to reach their target in the penultimate over, with Joe Root stroking an unbeaten 90 and Chris Woakes, an enterprising 68 not out.
The pair added a superb 102 in an unbroken seventh wicket stand, which pulled the visitors around from the strife of 124 for six at the half-way stage, and put them over the line with 10 balls remaining.
Opener Jason Roy weighed in with 52 and amazingly along with Root and Woakes, were the only ones to reach double figures.
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse shone, claiming three for 34 from his 10 overs while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo picked two for 43.
England lost Sam Billings to just the second ball of the innings when the right-hander edged the pacy Shannon Gabriel into the cordon where Nurse at second slip parried the catch to Kieran Powell at first slip, with a single run on the board.
Roy and Root then survived several anxious moments as they dug England out of trouble with an 86-run, second wicket partnership.
The right-handed Roy especially lived a charmed life early on. He was dropped on one in the second over off seamer and captain Jason Holder, as Carlos Brathwaite made a fabulous attempt at a diving one-handed catch at mid-on but failed to hang on.
Two balls later, he was given not out when he appeared to nick one behind but replays proved inconclusive after Windies took recourse to DRS.
Riding his luck, he transferred the pressure back on the Windies bowlers by belting seven fours and a six off 48 deliveries as he put England in control. He had reached his ninth ODI half-century off 45 balls in the 15th over when he holed out to Carlos Brathwaite at long-on off Nurse four balls later in the same over.
West Indies then hauled themselves back into the game, claiming the next five wickets for 37 runs in the space of 60 deliveries as Nurse accounted for captain Eoin Morgan (7) in the 21stover and Moeen Ali (3) in the 25th, while the erratic Bishoo knocked over Ben Stokes (1) and Jos Buttler (0) in between.
But the Windies hopes of running through the England lower order were dashed as Root and Woakes combined to take the sting out of an attack, missing Gabriel who limped off with a side strain and never returned.
Root’s 21st ODI half-century came from 127 balls and included just three fours while Woakes survived chances on 44 and 58, to count five fours and two sixes in an 83-ball knock – his second ODI fifty.
Earlier, West Indies struggled from the outset and once again needed the enterprise of Mohammed and Carter in order to hit their straps.
The hosts seemed to be taking control at 159 for four in the 37th over when they suffered a now familiar collapse, losing their last six wickets for 66 runs in the space of 69 deliveries.
West Indies were in early trouble when Evin Lewis (8) was caught at cover point by Billings off a leading edge, trying to turn seamer Steven Finn (2-38) to leg in the third over and Powell’s (9) muted return to West Indies colours continued when he skied an ill-advised pull in the seventh over, to present Finn with a simple caught and bowled chance and his 100th ODI wicket.
When Shai Hope edged a cut at a wide delivery from seamer Stokes to fall for 16 in the 14thover at 46 for three, West Indies were in deeper trouble.
For the second time in three days, Mohammed came to side’s aid, striking two fours and two sixes off 71 balls but more importantly, adding 72 for the fourth wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite and another 41 for the fifth wicket with Carter – partnerships which gave the innings much needed energy.
Brathwaite laboured 70 balls and counted just two fours and his dismissal – stumped missing a charge at off-spinner Moeen Ali in the 30th over – allowed Carter and Mohammed to up the scoring.
The right-handed Mohammed reached his half-century in the 35th over with a pulled six over mid-wicket off Stokes but was gone two overs later, losing concentration two deliveries following the drinks break and clipping a simple catch to Adil Rashid at mid-on off seamer Liam Plunkett.
Carter struck two fours and a six in a bold 36-ball knock but once he skied Plunkett (3-32) to mid-off in the 39th over, the innings fizzled badly.
The final ODI is set for Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday. (CMC)

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